Spring is in full swing, guys. At least in Arizona and Florida it is. It’s still about 2 degrees here in Virginia. The first game of the exhibition season was played Tuesday, and the Cubs have their first this afternoon. Randy Wells will take the bump! Perhaps the biggest question is whether or not I’ll burst into tears the moment those sweet words, “Chicago Cubs baseball is on the air!” reach my ears. *Ahem.* Anyway, all I’ve really got for y’all today is a mess of springy odds and ends.
Around The Majors
-Up-and-coming Washington outfielder Nyjer Morgan is apparently an Alex Ovechkin fan and hockey enthusiast in general. And when I say “enthusiast,” I mean he moved to Canada for four years to play hockey. Check out the video interview Yahoo’s Big League Stew put up. You learn something new every day, eh?
-Pheeew. That Tim Lincecum just has a way about him. Click here and watch the hilarious video, which features everyone’s favorite diminutive Cy Young winner doing some Snuggie modeling. (Also, look out San Francisco area Bed, Bath & Beyond shoppers! You might see little Timmy one of these days. And apparently he will drop his pants at the drop of a dime.)
-Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals’ 15 million dollar baby, has been living up to the hype so far, displaying both sick pitching prowess and poise. Whether he’ll start the season in the Major Leagues remains to be seen. Washington manager Jim Riggleman had this to say: “He could probably do it. We all know that already. But there’s a lot more that goes into it than that. It can’t hurt him to go somewhere and work on his craft, to get used to pitching every fifth day instead of every six or seven days, which is the schedule in college. The most important thing is how long he’s going to pitch in the major leagues, not how quickly he gets here.”
Regardless of where he starts out, it looks like the Nats found a keeper.
From Cubs Camp
-Starlin Castro won’t start in the Cubs’ first Cactus League game this afternoon as was originally reported, but is supposed to be coming off the bench. Hopefully within the next few weeks we’ll all have a good idea of what’s cookin’. Lou Piniella observed that, “He handles himself very professionally for a young kid out here, he really does. He’s calm. He’s not awed by being here. He’s relaxed. He’s not starry-eyed. If you didn’t know he was 19 years old, you couldn’t guess he was 19.” Bench coach Alan Trammel, who himself debuted at shortstop for the Detroit Tiger at 19, added some observations of his own: “He showed professionalism. I know he’s young and most guys are quiet, which he is, but he’s attentive and he’s under control.” From this and everything else I’ve heard, I feel like Starlin has the right kind of attitude.
-Comcast Sportsnet Chicago has a nice little video library. Check out the one from 2/27 to catch some glimpses at Mr. Castro and some fellow prospects. While you’re at it, take a look at the Xavier Nady clip. I keep forgetting about him, but if this guy is healthy he could end up making quite the impact.
-Has anyone seen Micah Hoffpauir lately? Man alive! It looks like he’s trying to give Jeff Samardzija a run for his money in the hair department. You would hardly recognize him. Unfortunately I have been unable to procure any photographs.